Thursday, September 04, 2003
Bill Frist makes his annual trip to Sudan despite security concerns:
Frist told Tennessee reporters he went against the advice last weekend because it was important to him personally to continue the work he had started in Sudan, "but also to have the intimacy of doing what I really do, which is medicine."

Frist's security detail follows him in Washington and Tennessee but not overseas. State Department security personnel accompanied Frist, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and four other Republican senators on an official trip that left Washington Aug. 16 to examine AIDS relief efforts in South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia.

In other Sudan news, the peace process--aiming to end 20 years of civil war--looks as shaky as ever:
A ceasefire has more or less been holding on the ground in south Sudan, but the Sudan People's Liberation Army are making it clear there remains a big gulf between the two sides.

"The issues of the presidency, the issues of wealth sharing, the issue of security arrangements, the issues of power sharing, and the issue of the three conflict areas are the major issues that are outstanding," Mr Garang said.

Those of us who didn't believe in the first place that the Sudanese government was negotiating in good faith won't be surprised if none of these issues are resolved. On the other hand, if foreign oil companies like this one keep leaving Sudan, the government might be forced to negotiate.

Do African countries have a comparative advantage in education? John Derbyshire notes this NY Times article indicating just that. People in this country should take note.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003
I'd wondered how long it would take for this to happen--Uganda is asking for US military assistance for its war against the LRA:
An advisor to the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni told BBC News Online that the call was made in the spirit of the continuing global war against terrorism, as the LRA is on the US list of terror groups.

But John Nagenda is emphatic that Uganda was not asking the US to send in troops to northern and eastern Uganda where the fighting is concentrated.

Well, helping Uganda might be a good thing and LRA is certainly a deserving enemy. But I hope people in the Bush administration remember the president's vow to defeat the terrorists and those who harbor them. Eventually, solving the situation in Uganda will require dealing with Sudan.

Here's an update from the Washington Post on that missing jet. Looks like terrorism has largely been ruled out, though:
One remaining theory, officials said, is that the plane was spirited away to an African hangar, where it could not be detected by spy satellites, and stripped for parts. Another is that it crashed, either in a remote forest, a deep lake or the Atlantic. Luanda is on Angola's seacoast, and pilots in the region say they often fly over the ocean for fear of drawing gunfire in the war-racked nation.

Still more questions than answers.

I can't remember if I've mentioned it recently, but mostly AFRICA is blogging up a storm and putting me to shame.

Also, you should check out Ethiopia Xpress for running commentary on... well, Ethiopia and all things African.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003
Here's more about the recent assassination plot in Ivory Coast:
Kessi said Ivorian police had seized documents implicating military officials in the assassination scheme. Those held included 11 military officials and seven civilians.

Those detained include Gen. Soumalia Diabagate, one-time member of a military junta which seized power in 1999, and Gen. Alain Mouandou, head of the police. A third general was released Monday due to lack of evidence.

Kessi said the plotters planned to position themselves in the residential Cocody suburb of Abidjan and blow up the president's cortege with an RPG7 anti-tank rocket, like those used against U.S. helicopters in Somalia.

I've never been a huge fan of Gbagbo, but this seems serious. After the 2002 coup attempt and ensuing civil war, there was a lot of speculation that certain rebels had backing from Libya and Liberia. It would be nice to know how much of that is still going on.

Another terror attack in Uganda... This seems like an important story and one that's under-reported by the mainstream media.

My exam is over, the undergrads are back at school, and all is right with the world. Blogging should be more regular for a while.

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